NEW DELHI: Amid tension on borders with Pakistan and China, the Centre has allowed the Army to make ‘emergency procurements,’ without going through the red-tape, to be prepared for a ‘short and intense war’.
A notification issued by the government last week empowered Vice Chief of the Army to make hardware procurements up to Rs 40 thousand crore to meet critical deficiencies. Army has identified critical deficiencies in 46 types of ammunition and certain spares for 10 types of weapon platforms.
According to Defence Ministry sources, after the Uri attack, an internal audit was conducted to review Army’s preparedness.
Though the Special Forces carried out ‘surgical strikes’ 10 days later, the audit exposed several lapses in Army’s critical procurement in order to fight a ‘short and intense war’— that would last 15 days.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during last year’s interactions with top military commanders, had said prospects of full-scale wars would be rare and future battles would be short and intense and need to be fought with clinical precision. Hence, soon after Uri attack, Army made emergency procurements worth `12,000 crore through 19 separate contracts — 11 of which were exclusively on ammunition and spares.
“With this notification, Army does not have to go through the Defence Acquisition Council or Cabinet Committee on Security. All purchases under the category of emergency procurement will be done at the office of the Vice Chief of Army,” said a ministry official.
The government feels the Army should be made self-sufficient to meet its own requirements, they said, adding that the Navy and Air Force would be given similar powers soon.
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